Monday, September 29, 2008

McCain questions Obama's tax votes

Sen. John McCain slammed Sen. Barack Obama's economic policy at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio.(CNN) -- Sen. John McCain told voters Monday that Sen. Barack Obama isn't being honest about his tax votes and said the Democrat is "always cheering for higher taxes."

Sen. John McCain slammed Sen. Barack Obama's economic policy at a campaign event in Columbus, Ohio.

In response, the Obama campaign called McCain's remarks "false attacks" and an "angry diatribe."

The economy is the No. 1 issue on the minds of voters, polls show, and both candidates are trying to convince voters that they will do a better job of getting the financial crisis under control.

"Two times, on March 14, 2008, and June 4, 2008, in the Democratic budget resolution, he voted to raise taxes on people making just $42,000 per year. He even said at the time that this vote for higher taxes on the middle class was 'getting our nation's priorities back on track,' " McCain said at a rally in Columbus, Ohio.

"Then something amazing happened: On Friday night, he looked the American people in the eye and said it never happened. My friends, we need a president who will always tell the American people the truth," McCain said.

McCain said a vote for Obama would "guarantee higher taxes, fewer jobs and an even bigger federal government" and charged that "these policies will deepen our recession."

Shortly after McCain finished his speech, the Obama campaign accused the Arizona senator of lying.

"Sen. McCain's angry diatribe today won't make up for his erratic response to the greatest financial crisis of our time. John McCain knows that the budget he's talking about didn't end up raising taxes on a single American, and the lie he told the American people today is all the more outrageous a day after he admitted that his health care plan will increase taxes on some families," Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

In McCain's speech, the Republican presidential candidate was referring to votes on a resolution (Senate Concurrent Resolution 70) meant to outline the Senate's budget priorities through 2013, but the measure had no practical effect.

According to a CNN review of the resolution, it assumes that most of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts pushed by President Bush will expire in that time, which McCain says amounts to a tax increase. Obama and his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, voted "yes" on the resolution. McCain did not vote.

However, the Democrats offered their own cuts in the 48-page resolution, which called for several tax cuts and breaks, including rolling back the alternative-minimum tax and the so-called "marriage penalty."

According to an analysis by the independent Tax Policy Center, the tax plan Obama has proposed during the campaign would increase taxes in 2009 on the wealthiest 20 percent of households, while offering tax cuts for the other 80 percent.

Obama was expected to talk about his economic plan at an event in Denver, Colorado, later Monday.

McCain and Obama's events come in two key battleground states.

No Republican has won the White House without winning Ohio, which has 20 electoral votes up for grabs.

Colorado is a toss-up state with nine electoral votes at stake. The state is home to deep political divisions -- Republicans, Democrats and independents each make up about a third of Colorado's voters.

The GOP presidential candidate has carried the state in 12 of the last 14 presidential races, dating back to 1952. The only exceptions came in 1964 and 1992, when the state supported Lyndon Johnson and Bill Clinton, respectively.

While Obama and McCain continue campaigning this week, their running mates will be focused on their upcoming debate.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Biden face off Thursday in St. Louis, Missouri, in the only vice presidential debate of the election season.

After McCain's rally, Palin headed to McCain's ranch near Sedona, Arizona, for what a top aide calls "debate camp."

Palin has already spent four days hunkered down in a Philadelphia hotel for debate prep with advisers.

Biden was preparing for the debate in Delaware on Monday.

No comments: